Aren’t you glad the Lord listens! Aren’t you glad the Lord answers! That’s relationship :) It’s very difficult to have one without the other in any relationship!
Don’t know about you but it’s very frustrating when there seems this tension in relationships sometimes when it appears that people listen but they don’t answer? In those instances of constant ignoring, we may remove ourselves because it appears to be no relationship at all :(
There is one constant in our lives and that’s that the Lord listens to our cries, He answers and He is the constant in an inconsistent world.
“After 3 days, they found Him in the temple complex sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions … and all those who heard Him were astounded at His understanding and His answers” (Luke 2:46-47) Not only does Christ speak but He listens! And there is nothing wrong about asking questions… apparently intelligent and full of wisdom that others were astounded at His wisdom and His answers!
What’s on your heart today that you want to share with the Lord? After you let Him know, now listen and hear what He says! That’s relationship :)
“Whether or not Mary and Joseph planned Christ’s birth this way, God certainly did. One of my favorite phrases in the birth narrative is humbly tucked in Luke 2:6: ‘While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born.’ The time. The time toward which all “time” had been ticking since the kingdom clock struck one… ‘The time came! God’s voice broke through the barrier of the natural realm through the cries of an infant!” (1)
God’s timing is always perfect and always on time!
And while the Christ child is being born in a stable, the shepherds are in their field tending to the flock and behold an angel appears to them and says “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all people.” (vs 10) and the “glory of the Lord shone around them”! Isn’t it interesting and beautiful that the angels of the Lord appear to some of the most unassuming people of all times!
“The untouchable Hand of God reaching down to touch the fallen hand of man.”(2)
“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a feeding trough. Suddenly, there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying”
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors”
HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
(1-2) Jesus, The One and Only / Beth Moore / B & H Publishing
Paul encourages Timothy in 1 Timothy 4 to stand as a servant of the living God, regardless of generation or gender. Beth shares three key things we can do to stand.
- “Train yourself in godliness” (vs. 7) – Remember salvation is a gift; godliness is a pursuit.
- “Be an example” (vs. 12) – God wants us to be living proof by our example. If we’re leading but we’re not closely following Christ, we are misleading.
- “Do not neglect the gift that is in you” (vs. 14) – When we received Christ, God gives us spiritual gifts, but they must then be developed, cared for, and cultivated. God honors a beautiful blend of gift and grit! He gives the gift, and He expects us to have the grit to practice and learn how to use it effectively.” (1)
Don’t neglect the gift that is in you! I love that!!! God placed spiritual gifts in us for us to explore and to become all that HE has created us to be! But He has also placed the Holy Spirit as a gift in us to help us, guide us, direct our steps and comfort us when the journey seems difficult at times! There’s one important thing though when it comes to a gift … how do YOU receive it?
(1) Paul, 90 Days in His Journey of Faith / Beth Moore / B & H Publishing
You may remember the song with the lyrics “don’t worry, be happy” many years ago and everyone was singing it. Can those lyrics of long ago apply to us today with an economy that’s ever changing, droughts, floods, the job market, etc? How do you combine what we see and hear and apply scripture truths to them without seeming superficial?
Remember Paul is still confined in prison of sorts and while writing these scriptures. In Philippians 4 Paul offers some practical counsel and tells us to:
- “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say REJOICE! (vs. 4)
- “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition WITH THANKSGIVING; let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses every thought will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (vs. 6-7)
How can you rejoice when it looks like things seem so bad? How do we not worry!!
In the gospels Jesus only had a couple loaves of bread, a couple of fish and a miracle of all miracles happens!! The apparent insufficiency didn’t seem like enough to feed the l000’s… BUT GOD! Jesus lifted up what he had, gave thanks to God, broke it and handed it to the disciples. When the disciples themselves handed out what they had in their hands, the miracle takes place. There were so many baskets full of leftovers.. all from a couple of fish and loaves of bread! How can this happen?
The attitude with the miracle that happened with that lunch is exactly what, I believe, Paul is referring to in Philippians. We can REJOICE because we know God is in control and we can trust in His promises! When Paul tells us not to worry about anything.. he says IN EVERYTHING through PRAYER with THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known to God. That’s exactly what Jesus did when He lifted up (what appeared to be insufficiency) to God, gave THANKS and God provided the miracle.
When we take what seems to be insufficient/our circumstances/troubles in our lives to God and invite Him into our insufficiency, even when we don’t see how, and GIVE HIM THANKS, He will provide the peace that will guard our hearts and minds that surpasses all understanding because of what Christ did for us so many years ago. FAITH!! This isn’t necessarily a 4-step method as much as it is a heart full of gratitude to God who is bigger than any situation! He can give us peace in the storms of any situation and work it out better than we could ever imagine :)
Miracles weren’t just for many years ago; they’re for us today who believe! What situation have you thanked Him for today and believe He will prove Himself faithful because you have trusted in Him more than any situation?